Aston Villa, currently occupying an impressive 4th spot with 45 points, unexpectedly bowed out of the F.A. Cup after a 3-1 drubbing by Chelsea, only to rebound with a dominant 5-0 thumping of Sheffield United in the Premier League.
Unai Emery‘s Villa will be relying on top performers like John McGinn, Olli Watkins, Leon Bailey, Youri Tielemans, and Alex Moreno to deliver against a resurgent Manchester United side helmed by manager Erik Ten Hag.
In contrast, Manchester United have been unbeaten in the new year, with their lone blip being a draw against Tottenham Hotspur, culminating in a 4-2 triumph over Newport County in the F.A. Cup and league victories over Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham.
With rising talents Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho, and Rasmus Hojlund in their ranks, United are poised for a fierce battle against Villa, aiming for a repeat of their victorious showdown earlier in the season.
On the other side, Manchester United may see the return of Morgan Rogers in midfield, while hoping for Lucas Digne’s availability to bolster their defensive setup.
Lisandro Martinez faces an extended spell on the sidelines for United, joining Anthony Martial, Tyrell Malacia, and Mason Mount in the treatment room, with Raphael Varane set to deputize in the Argentine’s absence.
Predicted lineups could see Villa fielding Martinez, Cash, Torres, Lenglet, and Moreno at the back, with Luiz, Kamara, Diaby, Tielemans, and McGinn in midfield, and Watkins leading the line. Manchester United could deploy Onana, Dalot, Maguire, Varane, and Shaw in defense, Mainoo, Casemiro, Garnacho, Fernandes, and Rashford in midfield, supported by Hojlund up front.
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